New views on the ingenious applications of Ag nanoparticles as a sensor for antibiotic detection and as a potent antimicrobial agent


  • Keyur Bhatt Mehsana Urban Institute of Science, Department of Chemistry, Ganpat University, Kherva, Gujarat, 384012, India
  • Anita Kongor Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India
  • Mohd Atharb Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India
  • Vinod Jain Department of Chemistry, School of Sciences, Gujarat University, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad -380009, India.



Silver nanoparticles, Sensor; Antibiotic, Bacterial infections, Therapeutic agent


Nanotechnology uses exceptional approaches for the control of bacterial infections which uncovers the potential function of bio-systems at nano-scale level. Compared to silver ions, silver nanoparticles possess enhanced physicochemical stability and low bio-toxicity properties. The intrinsic chemical framework of silver nanoparticles is prone to exhibit a significant chemistry when used as sensor and as therapeutic. Nowadays, silver is used in (nano-) medicine, in the form of nanoparticles to optimize its therapeutic property for controlling infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria. Exclusive use of antibiotics as medicines and its discharge from the body of the infected person or animals into the sewage system has led to antimicrobial resistance. Rising resistance of antibiotics is another serious threat that may lead to pandemics. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop selective and sensitive sensors for probing antibiotics, especially to prevent human health hazards. The present review emphasizes on the recent advances of silver nanoparticles concerning two inter-related subjects, first, application as a therapeutic agent to control infections and secondly, as sensors to detect antibiotics. Moreover, the chemistry of silver nanoparticles behind its applications as sensor and bactericidal agent is described. Major challenges have been elaborated for the emergence of silver nanoparticles in the field of antibiotic detection and its use for controlling bacterial infections.


Download data is not yet available.


A.R. Kongor, M.K. Panchal, V.K. Jain, and M. Athar, "Calix-assisted fabrication of metal nanoparticles: Applications and theoretical insights," in 21st Century Nanoscience–A Handbook, ed: CRC Press, 2019, pp. 15-1-15-17.

M. Athar, and A. J. Das, "Therapeutic nanoparticles: State-of-the-art of nanomedicine," Adv. Mater. Rev, vol. 1, pp. 25-37, 2014.

W. He, Y. Zheng, Q. Feng, T.A. Elkhooly, X. Liu, X. Yang, Y. Wang, and Y. Xie, "Silver nanoparticles stimulate osteogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells through activation of autophagy," Nanomedicine, vol. 15, pp. 337-353, 2020.

N.S. Capanema, I.C. Carvalho, A.A. Mansur, S.M. Carvalho, A.P. Lage, and H.S. Mansur, "Hybrid Hydrogel Composed of Carboxymethylcellulose–Silver Nanoparticles–Doxorubicin for Anticancer and Antibacterial Therapies against Melanoma Skin Cancer Cells," ACS Applied Nano Materials, vol. 2, pp. 7393-7408, 2019.

B.A. Makwana, D.J. Vyas, K.D. Bhatt, V.K. Jain, and Y.K. Agrawal, "Highly stable antibacterial silver nanoparticles as selective fluorescent sensor for Fe3+ ions," Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, vol. 134, pp. 73-80, 2015.

S.H. Lee, and B.-H. Jun, "Silver Nanoparticles: Synthesis and application for nanomedicine," International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 20, pp. 865, 2019.

L.S. Nair, and C.T. Laurencin, "Silver nanoparticles: synthesis and therapeutic applications," Journal of biomedical nano-technology, vol. 3, pp. 301-316, 2007.

A. Kongor, M. Panchal, M. Athar, P.C. Jha, D. Jhala, G. Sindhav, N. Shah, and V.K. Jain, "Selective fluorescence sensing of Cu (II) ions using calix [4] pyrrole fabricated Ag nanoparticles: A spectroscopic and computational approach," Journal of Molecular Liquids, vol. 269, pp. 467-475, 2018.

B.A. Makwana, S. Darjee, V.K. Jain, A. Kongor, G. Sindhav, and M.V. Rao, "A comparative study: Metal nanoparticles as fluorescent sensors for biomolecules and their biomedical application," Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, vol. 246, pp. 686-695, 2017.

X. Chen, S.G. Parker, G. Zou, W. Su, and Q. Zhang, "β-Cyclodextrin-functionalized silver nanoparticles for the naked eye detection of aromatic isomers," ACS nano, vol. 4, pp. 6387-6394, 2010.

S. Jaiswal, B. Duffy, A.K. Jaiswal, N. Stobie, and P. McHale, "Enhancement of the antibacterial properties of silver nano-particles using β-cyclodextrin as a capping agent," International journal of antimicrobial agents, vol. 36, pp. 280-283, 2010.

R. Patakfalvi, Z. Virányi, and I. Dékány, "Kinetics of silver nanoparticle growth in aqueous polymer solutions," Colloid and polymer science, vol. 283, pp. 299-305, 2004.

J. Song, H. Kang, C. Lee, S.H. Hwang, and J. Jang, "Aqueous synthesis of silver nanoparticle embedded cationic polymer nanofibers and their antibacterial activity," ACS applied materials & interfaces, vol. 4, pp. 460-465, 2012.

S. Wu, H. Zhao, H. Ju, C. Shi, and J. Zhao, "Electrodeposition of silver–DNA hybrid nanoparticles for electrochemical sensing of hydrogen peroxide and glucose," Electrochemistry Communications, vol. 8, pp. 1197-1203, 2006.

S. Javani, R. Lorca, A. Latorre, C. Flors, A.L. Cortajarena, and A. l. Somoza, "Antibacterial activity of DNA-stabilized silver nanoclusters tuned by oligonucleotide sequence," ACS applied materials & interfaces, vol. 8, pp. 10147-10154, 2016.

K.J. Lee, L.M. Browning, P.D. Nallathamby, and X.-H. N. Xu, "Study of charge-dependent transport and toxicity of peptide-functionalized silver nanoparticles using zebrafish embryos and single nanoparticle plasmonic spectroscopy," Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 26, pp. 904-917, 2013.

S.D. Patil, R. Sharma, T. Bhattacharyya, P. Kumar, M. Gupta, B.S. Chaddha, N.K. Navani, and R. Pathania, "Antibacterial potential of a small peptide from Bacillus sp. RPT-0001 and its capping for green synthesis of silver nanoparticles," Journal of Microbiology, vol. 53, pp. 643-652, 2015.

H. Dahm, "Silver nanoparticles in wound infections: Present status and future prospects," in Nanotechnology in Skin, Soft Tissue, and Bone Infections, ed: Springer, 2020, pp. 151-168.

L.G. Wasef, H.M. Shaheen, Y.S. El-Sayed, T.I. Shalaby, D. H. Samak, M.E. Abd El-Hack, A. Al-Owaimer, I.M. Saadeldin, A. El-mleeh, and H. Ba-Awadh, "Effects of silver nanoparticles on burn wound healing in a mouse model," Biological trace element research, vol. 193, pp. 456-465, 2020.

M. Abdel-Raouf, H.M. Aldeweik, M.S. Albannan, M.M. Zaki, A.E. Abdelkader, and D. Moemen, "Impact of different chemically synthesized silver nanoparticles on nosocomial infection," Journal of Advances in Microbiology, pp. 1-9, 2019.

P. Zhang, J. Qin, B. Zhang, Y. Zheng, L. Yang, Y. Shen, B. Zuo, and F. Zhang, "Gentamicin-loaded silk/nanosilver composite scaffolds for MRSA-induced chronic osteomyelitis," Royal Society open science, vol. 6, pp. 182102, 2019.

M. Divya, G.S. Kiran, S. Hassan, and J. Selvin, "Biogenic synthesis and effect of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to combat catheter-related urinary tract infections," Biocatalysis and agricultural biotechnology, vol. 18, pp. 101037, 2019.

S. Mickymaray, "One-step synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Saudi Arabian desert seasonal plant Sisymbrium irio and antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant bacterial strains," Biomolecules, vol. 9, pp. 662, 2019.

I.X. Yin, J. Zhang, I.S. Zhao, M.L. Mei, Q. Li, and C.H. Chu, "The antibacterial mechanism of silver nanoparticles and its application in dentistry," International journal of nanomedicine, vol. 15, pp. 2555, 2020.

T.M. Tolaymat, A.M. El Badawy, A. Genaidy, K.G. Scheckel, T.P. Luxton, and M. Suidan, "An evidence-based environmental perspective of manufactured silver nanoparticle in syntheses and applications: a systematic review and critical appraisal of peer-reviewed scientific papers," Science of the total environment, vol. 408, pp. 999-1006, 2010.

Y. Yin, Y. Li, X. Zhao, W. Cai, and J. Sui, "One-step fabrication of Ag@ Polydopamine film modified NiTi alloy with strong antibacterial property and enhanced anticorrosion performance," Surface and Coatings Technology, vol. 380, pp. 125013, 2019.

Y. Junejo, M. Safdar, M.A. Akhtar, M. Saravanan, H. Anwar, M. Babar, R. Bibi, M. T. Pervez, T. Hussain, and M. E. Babar, "Synthesis of tobramycin stabilized silver nanoparticles and its catalytic and antibacterial activity against pathogenic bacteria," Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and Materials, vol. 29, pp. 111-120, 2019.

A. Joshi, and K.-H. Kim, "Recent advances in nanomaterial-based electrochemical detection of antibiotics: Challenges and future perspectives," Biosensors and Bioelectronics, vol. 153, pp. 112046, 2020.

P. Kovalakova, L. Cizmas, T.J. McDonald, B. Marsalek, M. Feng, and V.K. Sharma, "Occurrence and toxicity of antibiotics in the aquatic environment: A review," Chemosphere, pp. 126351, 2020.

D. Cheng, H.H. Ngo, W. Guo, S.W. Chang, D.D. Nguyen, Y. Liu, Q. Wei, and D. Wei, "A critical review on antibiotics and hormones in swine wastewater: Water pollution problems and control approaches," Journal of hazardous materials, vol. 387, pp. 121682, 2020.

G. Franci, A. Falanga, S. Galdiero, L. Palomba, M. Rai, G. Morelli, and M. Galdiero, "Silver nanoparticles as potential antibacterial agents," Molecules, vol. 20, pp. 8856-8874, 2015.

M. Akter, M.T. Sikder, M.M. Rahman, A.A. Ullah, K.F.B. Hossain, S. Banik, T. Hosokawa, T. Saito, and M. Kurasaki, "A systematic review on silver nanoparticles-induced cytotoxicity: Physicochemical properties and perspectives," Journal of advanced research, vol. 9, pp. 1-16, 2018.

M.A. Ansari, H.M. Khan, A. Khan, S. Cameotra, and M. Alzohairy, "Anti-biofilm efficacy of silver nanoparticles against MRSA and MRSE isolated from wounds in a tertiary care hospital," Indian journal of medical microbiology, vol. 33, pp. 101, 2015.

J.T. Seil and T.J. Webster, "Antimicrobial applications of nano-technology: methods and literature," International journal of nanomedicine, vol. 7, pp. 2767, 2012.

D. Papakostas, F. Rancan, W. Sterry, U. Blume-Peytavi, and A. Vogt, "Nanoparticles in dermatology," Archives of dermatological research, vol. 303, pp. 533, 2011.

F. He, and D. Zhao, "Manipulating the size and dispersibility of zerovalent iron nanoparticles by use of carboxymethyl cellulose stabilizers," Environmental science & technology, vol. 41, pp. 6216-6221, 2007.

E. Abdel-Halim, H.H. Alanazi, and S.S. Al-Deyab, "Utilization of hydroxypropyl carboxymethyl cellulose in synthesis of silver nanoparticles," International journal of biological macromolecules, vol. 75, pp. 467-473, 2015.

S.P. Deshmukh, S.B. Mullani, V.B. Koli, S.M. Patil, P.J. Kasabe, P.B. Dandge, S.A. Pawar, and S.D. Delekar, "Ag nano-particles connected to the surface of TiO2 electrostatically for antibacterial photoinactivation studies," Photochemistry and photobiology, vol. 94, pp. 1249-1262, 2018.

Y. Li, C. Liu, H. Mo, J. Zhang, X. Jiang, L. Zhang, L. Yang, L. Fu, L. He, and Y. Zhao, "Sodium triphosphate–capped silver nanoparticles on a decellularized scaffold-based polyurethane vascular patch for bacterial infection inhibition and rapid endothelialization," Journal of Bioactive and Compatible Polymers, vol. 34, pp. 357-372, 2019.

S.A. Anuj, H.P. Gajera, D.G. Hirpara, and B.A. Golakiya, "Bactericidal assessment of nano-silver on emerging and re-emerging human pathogens," Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, vol. 51, pp. 219-225, 2019.

E. Figueiredo, J. Ribeiro, E. Nishio, S. Scandorieiro, A. Costa, V. Cardozo, A. Oliveira, N. Durán, L. Panagio, and R. Kobayashi, "New approach for simvastatin as an antibacterial: synergistic effect with bio-synthesized silver nanoparticles against multidrug-resistant bacteria," International Journal of Nanomedicine, vol. 14, pp. 7975, 2019.

I.N. Ghosh, S.D. Patil, T.K. Sharma, S.K. Srivastava, R. Pathania, and N.K. Navani, "Synergistic action of cinnamaldehyde with silver nanoparticles against spore-forming bacteria: a case for judicious use of silver nanoparticles for antibacterial applications," International journal of nanomedicine, vol. 8, pp. 4721, 2013.

S. Scandorieiro, L.C. de Camargo, C.A. Lancheros, S.F. Yamada-Ogatta, C.V. Nakamura, A.G. de Oliveira, C.G. Andrade, N. Duran, G. Nakazato, and R.K. Kobayashi, "Synergistic and additive effect of oregano essential oil and biological silver nanoparticles against multidrug-resistant bacterial strains," Frontiers in microbiology, vol. 7, pp. 760, 2016.

A.M. Fayaz, K. Balaji, M. Girilal, R. Yadav, P.T. Kalaichelvan, and R. Venketesan, "Biogenic synthesis of silver nanoparticles and their synergistic effect with antibiotics: a study against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria," Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, vol. 6, pp. 103-109, 2010.

N.Y. Elmehbad, and N. A. Mohamed, "Designing, preparation and evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of biomaterials based on chitosan modified with silver nanoparticles," International journal of biological macromolecules, vol. 151, pp. 92-103, 2020.

X. Liu, D. Huang, C. Lai, G. Zeng, L. Qin, C. Zhang, H. Yi, B. Li, R. Deng, and S. Liu, "Recent advances in sensors for tetracycline antibiotics and their applications," TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, vol. 109, pp. 260-274, 2018.

Q. Wang, and W.-M. Zhao, "Optical methods of antibiotic residues detections: A comprehensive review," Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, vol. 269, pp. 238-256, 2018.

E.M. Carstea, J. Bridgeman, A. Baker, and D.M. Reynolds, "Fluorescence spectroscopy for wastewater monitoring: a review," Water research, vol. 95, pp. 205-219, 2016.

K.D. Bhatt, H. Shah, K.M. Modi, A. Kongor, M. Panchal, and V.K. Jain, "Novel calix [4] pyrrole assembly: Punctilious recognition of F− and Cu+ 2 ions," Journal of Molecular Structure, vol. 1149, pp. 299-306, 2017.

S.M. Darjee, K. Bhatt, A. Kongor, M.K. Panchal, and V.K. Jain, "Thiacalix [4] arene functionalized gold nano-assembly for recognition of isoleucine in aqueous solution and its antioxidant study," Chemical Physics Letters, vol. 667, pp. 137-145, 2017.

G. Ghodake, S. Shinde, R.G. Saratale, A. Kadam, G.D. Saratale, A. Syed, N. Marraiki, A.M. Elgorban, and D.Y. Kim, "Silver nanoparticle probe for colorimetric detection of aminoglycoside antibiotics: picomolar‐level sensitivity toward streptomycin in water, serum, and milk samples," Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, vol. 100, pp. 874-884, 2020.

N. ul Ain, Z. Aslam, M. Yousuf, W.A. Waseem, S. Bano, I. Anis, F. Ahmed, S. Faizi, M.I. Malik, and M.R. Shah, "Green synthesis of methyl gallate conjugated silver nanoparticles: a colorimetric probe for gentamicin," New Journal of Chemistry, vol. 43, pp. 1972-1979, 2019.

H. Rezaei, E. Rahimpour, M. Khoubnasabjafari, V. Jouyban-Gharamaleki, and A. Jouyban, "A colorimetric nanoprobe based on dynamic aggregation of SDS-capped silver nanoparticles for tobramycin determination in exhaled breath condensate," Microchimica Acta, vol. 187, pp. 1-9, 2020.

S. Rahim, A.M. Bhayo, M.R. Shah, and M.I. Malik, "Star-shaped poly(ethylene oxide)‑block‑poly(caprolactone) conjugated silver nanoparticles: A colorimetric probe for cephalexin in environmental, biological and pharmaceutical samples," Microchemical Journal, vol. 149, pp. 104048, 2019.

A. Siddiqui, H. Anwar, S.W. Ahmed, S. Naqvi, M.R. Shah, A. Ahmed, and S.A. Ali, "Synthesis and sensitive detection of doxycycline with sodium bis 2-ethylhexylsulfosuccinate based silver nanoparticle," Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, vol. 225, pp. 117489, 2020.

M. Esmaelpourfarkhani, K. Abnous, S.M. Taghdisi, and M. Chamsaz, "A fluorometric assay for oxytetracycline based on the use of its europium (III) complex and aptamer-modified silver nanoparticles," Microchimica Acta, vol. 186, pp. 290, 2019.

A.A. Ashkarran, M. Ghavami, H. Aghaverdi, P. Stroeve, and M. Mahmoudi, "Bacterial effects and protein corona evaluations: crucial ignored factors in the prediction of bio-efficacy of various forms of silver nanoparticles," Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 25, pp. 1231-1242, 2012.

M.Y. Alkawareek, A. Bahlool, S.R. Abulateefeh, and A.M. Alkilany, "Synergistic antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles and hydrogen peroxide," PloS one, vol. 14, p. e0220575, 2019.

Z. Qiao, Y. Yao, S. Song, M. Yin, and J. Luo, "Silver nano-particles with pH induced surface charge switchable properties for antibacterial and antibiofilm applications," Journal of Materials Chemistry B, vol. 7, pp. 830-840, 2019.

R.K. Singh, B. Panigrahi, S. Mishra, B. Das, R. Jayabalan, P.K. Parhi, and D. Mandal, "pH triggered green synthesized silver nanoparticles toward selective colorimetric detection of kanamycin and hazardous sulfide ions," Journal of Molecular Liquids, vol. 269, pp. 269-277, 2018.

G.D. Saratale, R.G. Saratale, G. Ghodake, S. Shinde, D.-Y. Kim, A.A. Alyousef, M. Arshad, A. Syed, D. Pant, and H.-S. Shin, "Chlortetracycline-functionalized silver nanoparticles as a colorimetric probe for aminoglycosides: ultrasensitive determination of kanamycin and streptomycin," Nanomaterials, vol. 10, pp. 997, 2020.

N. ul Ain, I. Anis, F. Ahmed, M.R. Shah, S. Parveen, S. Faizi, and S. Ahmed, "Colorimetric detection of amoxicillin based on querecetagetin coated silver nanoparticles," Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, vol. 265, pp. 617-624, 2018.

V. Gaudin, C. Hedou, C. Soumet, and E. Verdon, "Evaluation and validation of a multi-residue method based on biochip technology for the simultaneous screening of six families of antibiotics in muscle and aquaculture products," Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, vol. 33, pp. 403-419, 2016.

N.C. Pomal, K.D. Bhatt, K.M. Modi, A.L. Desai, N.P. Patel, A. Kongor, and V. Kolivoška, "Functionalized silver nanoparticles as colorimetric and fluorimetric sensor for environmentally toxic mercury ions: An Overview," Journal of fluorescence, pp. 1-15, 2021.

R. Singla, S. Soni, V. Patial, P.M. Kulurkar, A. Kumari, S. Mahesh, Y.S. Padwad, and S.K. Yadav, "In vivo diabetic wound healing potential of nanobiocomposites containing bamboo cellulose nanocrystals impregnated with silver nanoparticles," International journal of biological macromolecules, vol. 105, pp. 45-55, 2017.

E. Luna-Hernández, M. Cruz-Soto, F. Padilla-Vaca, R. Mauricio- Sánchez, D. Ramirez-Wong, R. Muñoz, L. Granados-López, L. Ovalle-Flores, J. Menchaca-Arredondo, and A. Hernández-Rangel, "Combined antibacterial/tissue regeneration response in thermal burns promoted by functional chitosan/silver nano-composites," International journal of biological macro-molecules, vol. 105, pp. 1241-1249, 2017.

G. Rath, T. Hussain, G. Chauhan, T. Garg, and A.K. Goyal, "Collagen nanofiber containing silver nanoparticles for improved wound-healing applications," Journal of drug targeting, vol. 24, pp. 520-529, 2016.

D. Acharya, K.M. Singha, P. Pandey, B. Mohanta, J. Rajkumari, and L.P. Singha, "Shape dependent physical mutilation and lethal effects of silver nanoparticles on bacteria," Scientific reports, vol. 8, pp. 1-11, 2018.

P.K. Maiti, A. Ghosh, R. Parveen, A. Saha, and M.G. Choudhury, "Preparation of carboxy-methyl cellulose-capped nanosilver particles and their antimicrobial evaluation by an automated device," Applied Nanoscience, vol. 9, pp. 105-111, 2019.

V. Anjana, E.P. Koshy, and B. Mathew, "Facile synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Azolla caroliniana, their cytotoxicity, catalytic, optical and antibacterial activity," Materials Today: Proceedings, vol. 25, pp. 163-168, 2020.

T. Luo, S. Shakya, P. Mittal, X. Ren, T. Guo, M.G. Bello, L. Wu, H. Li, W. Zhu, and B. Regmi, "Co-delivery of superfine nano-silver and solubilized sulfadiazine for enhanced antibacterial functions," International journal of pharmaceutics, vol. 584, pp. 119407, 2020.

A. Naghizadeh, Z. Mizwari, S. Ghoreishi, S. Lashgari, S. Mortazavi-Derazkola and B Rezaie, Naghizadeh, "Biogenic and eco-benign synthesis of silver nanoparticles using jujube core extract and its performance in catalytic and pharmaceutical applications: Removal of industrial contaminants and in-vitro antibacterial and anticancer activities, Environmental Technology and Innovation, vol. 23, pp. 101560, 2021.

M. Wypij, J. Czarnecka, M. Świecimska, H. Dahm, M. Rai, and P. Golinska, "Synthesis, characterization and evaluation of antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of biogenic silver nanoparticles synthesized from Streptomyces xinghaiensis OF1 strain." World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 34, pp. 1-13, 2018




How to Cite

K. Bhatt, A. Kongor, M. Atharb, and V. Jain, “New views on the ingenious applications of Ag nanoparticles as a sensor for antibiotic detection and as a potent antimicrobial agent”, J Met Mater Miner, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 1–9, Sep. 2021.



Review Articles